Is a Microsoft Surface Phone on the way? A recent Wall St. Journal report said that Microsoft is making its own smartphone. Based on “people familiar with the situation”, it is said that the company is in testing with Asian component suppliers. We could looking at a somewhat clumsy situation because Microsoft just released Windows Phone 8 with a number of partners HTC, Samsung, and Nokia. It seems very early in the game as the coming Windows Phone 8 models aren’t even in consumer’s hands yet, so this may be something for early 2013. So far, Microsoft has declined to comment on their smartphone plans. The thought of Microsoft not only providing the Windows OS to run on the phones but manufacturing the hardware is not such a reach now, when you consider how they are running head-on into the Surface tablet business and have run a successful Xbox business for a number of years. Microsoft’s Surface tablet was developed in secret and its release surprised their partners.
A number of companies associated with Microsoft have spoken up against the Surface as well as Windows 8. It is possible we may see objections in the smartphone space as well. Particularly vulnerable is Nokia, who is exclusively creating Windows 8 phones. HTC and Samsung also have Android-based offerings that they have had enormous success with. So it remains to be seen if indeed Microsoft intends to enter this space and whether that upsets partners in the long run. Some may actually be welcoming the elevation of the platform. Still, it’s all just projections and we will see what really plays out. Some suggestions say Microsoft may just be testing some things out. Sure.
Count me in with those that is eating crow on this whole Microsoft shift. It was only months ago that Microsoft appeared to be stale and tied to their traditional well in the enterprise. With the Kinect, the consumerization of its foremost products, and its latest foray into consumer devices, the company continues to transform into something we don’t normally associate with them. Few would have thought that Microsoft would be making this move to a full-on hardware/software platform and all their moves to taking all these products to the consumer. My personal beliefs were that Microsoft was only trying to set manufacturing trends and a reference model for other manufacturers to follow as Google had done with their Nexus phones– I was wrong and the numbers and rapidly emerging news prove it. Microsoft is aiming for the home, as well as the office and datacenter – all at the same time and executing a fantastic series of relevant offerings to do it.